closeted romantic

I will tell you that I hate the cheesy stuff. PDAs – gross. That couple that is looking all lovey dovey in the corner – barf! He brought her flowers? What did he do wrong?

Being cynical is easy. Being vulnerable is difficult. I’m pretty sure we all want that over the top romantic gesture. We all have them memorized from our favorite movie, book, or song. I know men are capable of feeling alllll the feels. The magical kind of love – you are attracted to the person unable get enough of their face and body, you consider them a friend and are able to laugh, joke and cry together, and finally, you have fallen for their flaws, that you know all of the imperfections and embrace them.

I have convinced myself that I don’t deserve this, for whatever reason. I know it’s not true, and I’m working on it. But in the mean time, I will tell you how much I don’t care about the romantical stuff. That it doesn’t matter. But deep down its all just a defense. I believe that no one could care enough to make these gestures, so limit expectations and no one gets hurt.

I did practical. I did safe. And it doesn’t work. I don’t think that I settled, but I do think I wasn’t clear on what I really wanted or expected. I think I didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like. I think maybe the other person thought it would be better to be with me than to be alone. That has messed with me a bit.

Now I’m waiting for grand. For amazing. For someone to feel all the feels for me and to prove it. And – for me to feel the same way about them.

Someone who doesn’t make me feel insecure about everything I do. Someone who is supportive. Someone who knows how to be an equal partner in life. Someone willing to just jump in and do what is needed. Someone who can communicate to me what they want and need as well.

Affection makes me awkward. Yeah, its weird. But the more the guy gets affectionate the more awkward I get. I like the affection, but I have a really hard time initiating the affection. The chance of rejection, however slim, is too high. I’m sitting there, with thoughts about how amazing this person is, how much I like them, that when they smile at me I melt. Or when he raises one eyebrow at me, and I fall a little bit more. But I just can’t say anything. I can’t move.

There is the phase in the beginning of the relationship, you are really into each other, things are progressing nicely, and then boom feelings. I feel like a normal person would be able to express all these feelings, and I just get stuck. Immobile. Inarticulate. He says “I miss you” and it takes me another week of him saying it before I believe it or that I can respond in kind. The entire time feeling awkward and racked with anxiety. It’s easier to ignore in text. To just move on to the next topic.

Dating as a single parent is a little like long distance dating. I can only spend a few hours once or maybe twice a week with this person, and then every two weeks I get a real amount of time. A night, or a day, or more. In the mean time texting happens. And the guy usually says sweet things, and instead of reciprocating I ignore, brush off, or just say “that’s sweet” or “how nice of you to say”. Because I just can’t yet.

Even the emoji with heart eyes seems to say more than I can handle. Does he notice? Does he realize I’m ignoring the comments I can’t deal with at the moment? Does he catch on that I just say “that’s so sweet” or “thank you” in order to not have to say something emotional in return? I also wonder if it seems disingenuous if I just responded automatically with the same words?

He says “Goodnight my beautiful babe”. My. Beautiful. Babe.  And I wonder to myself if he knows. If he could possibly understand what his words are doing to me? Has he said these words to anyone else; is saying them to anyone else? Is this a line that has been perfected over time? Did he take his time crafting the perfect response, knowingly? “Killing me softly” comes to mind. Is he playing me? Did he mean to call me “his”? Was that on purpose? Am I?

I know that these are all questions that I should direct to him – but I can’t via text and I won’t see him for several days due to schedules. So, instead I ponder.

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